How to Improve Team Working Skills

How to Improve Team Working Skills


Teams are complex systems.

This is where individuals are combined together to pursue a shared goal.


Sometimes, teamwork is necessary.

Other times, the lone wolf approach is necessary.


I’m sure you have been involved in a poor team working atmosphere before.

There were particular members doing quality work.

Then there was a dude who did awful work and got equal credit.

That’s not fair!


Was the poor worker lazy or were they given a task that they were not suited for?


When to Team Work


In the real world, the end goal of a project is often clear:

‘Make this system function.’


But the individual roles are not clear.

This is when things get tricky.

Team work turns into politics when ambiguity is there.


Many people work in teams for the sake of working in teams.

They drank the, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” koolaid.


Some tasks are better done alone.


So ask the question:

‘Is team working NEEDED in this scenario?’


If the answer is no, then complete the task quickly by yourself.

If the answer is yes, then read on…


People are Afraid of Power


There is a lot of talk from people who claim they want power:

‘If my boss let me run stuff, I’d show him how to get things done!’


This is false bravado.

Most people don’t want power.

They want a person with a clear vision and warm communication to tell them what to do.


Once you realize this, claim the power.

‘Me? I’m trying to chill too bro!’


For the sake of clarity in this article, assume that you will be taking the power.

That does not mean getting in someone’s face and yelling at them.

Instead, it means to be able to read someone like a book.


‘What does it mean to read someone like a book?’

  • To assess their strengths and weaknesses.

For us to do that, we need to analyze the palm.


how to improve team working


The Palm Technique to Team Working


Have you ever played those fighting video games before?

Tekken or Street Fighter.


You don’t need a high IQ to play those games.

You just smash a bunch of buttons with your thumbs.


After playing a bunch of those games, imagine that your thumbs are sore.

So, you switch from thumbs to index fingers.

Will you be as efficient?


The answer is no.


The controller is set up for the thumbs to be the most optimal.

Switching from thumbs to index fingers tremendously reduces efficiency.


This is how a lot of people work in teams.

They have thumbs working as index fingers and vice versa.


‘What’s an example of this?’

Rahul is amazing at public speaking.

He can sell shit to a cow.


But Rahul hates the small picture work.

Like sitting down and working on a PowerPoint.


However, Shiva loves working on PowerPoints.

She hates doing any form of public speaking.


The suboptimal way to function as a leader is to:

  • Make Rahul and Shiva both create the PowerPoint together and deliver the speech together.


The optimal way to function is to have:

  • Rahul fully focus on the talk.
  • While Shiva fully focuses on the PowerPoint.


At this point, we are learning a crucial rule for the real world:

Whatever it takes.

No need to be all balanced and fair.


In the real world, some people are way more gifted at certain traits than others.

Rather than reducing the powers of these gifted folks…

Find the correct role for them.


Seeing the Goals


We don’t want the folks to think they are fingers alone.

We need the fingers to realize they are a part of a palm.

This happens through repetition and visualization.


Repetition comes down to:

‘Good stuff guys, we are almost there. The alpha model of the code should be ready soon!’

This allows each person to see that their role is a part of a bigger picture.


But the other part is less obvious.


Seeing the goals.


When I was in my final year of college, we had a senior design project.

On paper, our team had all the necessary attributes to succeed.


However, we had our own lives and got distracted.

Deadlines were missed.


I went to the senior design advisor and asked what our team could do to ensure consistency.

He said:

‘You should look into creating a Gantt chart.’


I studied the Gantt chart.

This was a way for us to SEE the goals and our individual objectives.


Free vector graphics of Agenda


Once the Gantt chart was introduced, our efficiency went through the roof!


The reason why was because we saw things differently in our minds.

But when we created the chart, we had a SHARED VISION of the same concept.


There are different ways to visualize a goal.

It can be through a scrum board.

A Gantt chart.




Seeing the same thing keeps the team glued together.


Group Chatting Away…


One final tip I would recommend is implementing a group chat.

I saved this for last because it’s optional.


Maybe the group chat is the last thing you need.

You already spent 8 hours with this team, the last thing you want to do is socialize with these fools!


But in other scenarios, the stakes are high.


During group chats, updates are given.

Camaraderie is built.

And…camaraderie is built.

‘You said camaraderie twice.’

I know…

Because it’s that important.


Giving status updates.

Reporting on setbacks and brainstorming new ideas together.

Creating inside jokes.

Assigning nicknames.

This camaraderie allows for the project to feel like fun, not work.


Y’all went to battle together and came out with a final product together.

Those memories will make it easier for the next group project.


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